The Red Balloon
Seattle Children's Theatre, 441-3322. Through Dec 30.

THE RED BALLOON is about a boy named Pascal who really wants a pet, but is not allowed to have one. One day Pascal finds a big red balloon. The balloon has a big personality for a balloon; it follows Pascal, runs from Pascal while playing tag, and plays all sorts of games. Pascal loves his balloon very much, but one day two evil bullies start chasing Pascal and the balloon. Finally they pop the red balloon and Pascal is devastated. But then Pascal sees a lot of other balloons and catches on to them. The balloons lift him up and carry Pascal somewhere; then the play ends.

The Red Balloon is a weird play that is short, sad, and happy. It is so much different than the French movie. Some of the parts are the same, but not many parts. Since I saw the movie The Red Balloon and loved it, I was very excited to see the play. If you have seen the movie, you'll know that it doesn't have words, so I wondered how they would make a play from a movie with no words. It happened that the play does have words, and that's one of the things that makes it different from the movie. It's also different because there's only two bullies, and in the movie there's like 25. The play was good, so it is hard to say bad stuff about it, but it did start to get a little boring in the middle. Nevertheless, the play is great for all ages, even grownups.

The actors in the play are very good and funny; they act so hyper and crazy in front of the audience--I would be so embarrassed. There were only four actors, but they all played more than one character, and the actors were all perfect for the parts they played. There were some pretty funny songs in the play and good dances that go with them. I liked how they didn't just use special props and make the balloon float by itself. Instead, there was a person leading the balloon places. I liked that, because with the guy there you could tell what the balloon was thinking by the expressions on the guy's face.

My favorite part was when the two bullies were trying to get the balloon and attack it! It was a huge, long, and very cool chase! I also liked it when the kid couldn't bring the red balloon into school, so he let the janitor take care of it; when the janitor was alone, music started playing and she started to dance. It was hilarious! At the end of the play I got to meet the cast, and I asked them what their favorite and funnest part to do was. They said they liked the chase, just like me.

At the ending of the play, Pascal floats off somewhere with the balloons. The cast said that you could send in a picture of where you think Pascal went, and they will hang it up! Some of the answers that the audience gave were pretty interesting: Balloon Planet, Balloon Land, Japan, Chocolate Mountain, and "I forgot." I think Pascal will stay in the Seattle Children's Theatre and see a different play like Prince Brat and the Whipping Boy, which is supposed to be great. (My friend Maggie saw it and loved it.)

I've only been to the Children's Theatre once, when I was like five and saw Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, so I don't remember what it looked like. Now that I have come again, I see how nice it is--it is a great theater. It is clean and always supposed to show great plays, at least that's what my friends say.

At the end of the show I bought my own red balloon. Well, it turned out not to be exactly mine, because my little brother Charley loved it so much that he would cry if I took it away to play with. What Charley would do with the balloon is he would let it go and expect us to bring it back down to him. Now that some of the helium has leaked out, he throws it up and when it comes down he runs toward it and tries to catch it, just like the boy in The Red Balloon. I definitely recommend that you go see The Red Balloon.

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